Festival Box

Lammas Sabbat

August 1st

Lammas Sabbat

As the summer begins to wane and the days grow shorter, many Pagans and Wiccans prepare to celebrate Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh. This ancient festival marks the first harvest of the year, a time to give thanks for the bounty of the earth and to honour the cycles of growth and decay.

Lammas, traditionally celebrated on August 1st, is one of the eight sabbats on the Wheel of the Year. The name "Lammas" is derived from the Old English "hlafmaesse," which means "loaf mass," reflecting the custom of baking bread from the first grain harvest and offering it in thanksgiving. In Celtic tradition, this festival is known as Lughnasadh, named after the god Lugh. It is said that Lugh instituted this festival in honour of his foster mother, Tailtiu, who died after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture.

Historically, Lammas was a significant agricultural festival, marking the beginning of the harvest season. It was a time when communities came together to celebrate and give thanks for the grain that would sustain them through the winter months. Feasts, games, and fairs were common, reflecting both the joy of the harvest and the hard work that had gone into producing it.

Lammas holds deep spiritual significance as a time of gratitude and reflection. It is a moment to acknowledge the hard work and the fruits of our labour, both literally and metaphorically. Just as farmers harvest their crops, individuals can also take stock of their personal and spiritual growth over the past months.

This sabbat is associated with the themes of sacrifice and transformation. The cutting of the grain symbolises the sacrifice of the god, who gives his life to ensure the survival of the community. This act of giving and receiving is a reminder of the interconnectedness of life and the cycles of nature. As the first harvest, Lammas also invites us to consider what we need to release or sacrifice in our own lives to continue growing and evolving.